I have an 5.5G iPod Video. Recently, I replaced it's broken HDD. The disk I am using now (Samsung HS12YHA, 120 GB) is a new generation product and has 4K physical sector size (instead of conventional 512 bytes). The industry term for that is Advanced Format
. This is not a compatibility problem since drive firmware provides translation for host (whether it's a PC, media player or anything else). It presents a disk to the host as if it had 'classic' sector size. Well at least it does when connected directly to PC (see below).
The problem is that 4K physical sector size requires that partitions are aligned properly. Put briefly their starting LBA block number (considering each logical block consist of 512 bytes) needs to be multiple of 8 (512*8 = 4096) so that partition starts at the beginning of the physical sector and not in the middle of it so that clusters are aligned with physical sectors. If that doesn't happen severe performance issues arise (check here
for more info).
Unfortunately, iTunes with it's 'Restore' function is completely unaware of that and starts the partition according to old CHS convention. And that's a real bummer. Write speed speed becomes extremely low. E.g. it took me 1 minute 15 seconds to write 160 MB of mp3 files.
The funny thing is how the disk appears to my PC software when it's connected through iPod. Instead of appearing as an array of 234,441,648 LBA blocks (512 bytes per block) as it does when connected directly and as a sticker on it's housing states it appears as an array of 58,610,412 blocks (2048 bytes per block). Now, when iTunes restores and repartitions the iPod it starts it's partition at logical sector 48,195 (not a multiple of 8, instead according to CHS drive geometry convention). Everything to the left (sectors 0 - 48,194 â‰ˆ 94,13 MB) remains 'unallocated' and reserved for firmware.
I tried using GParted Live CD to realign partition by expanding preceding unallocated space to 95 MB but something prevents me from doing that. I end up with an error and partitioning remains intact.
Another funny thing is that when I take the disk out of iPod (after restoring) and plug it to my PC partitioning becomes "corrupted". The addresses of partition start (48,195) and end (58,610,410) remain the same. However, logical block size is four times smaller (512 bytes vs 2048 bytes) so that both the partition and unallocated space preceding it are 'shrinked' and there is additional unused space at the end of the disk.
Even so, it's impossible to resize the partition because it appears to GParted as corrupted/raw (instead of FAT32). After re-inserting disk into iPod everything returns to previous state (as I described in fourth paragraph).
HELP ME PLEASE!